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News briefs on cultural events around Kentucky

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Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship Awards
The Kentucky Arts Council has awarded eight Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships Awards of $7,500 to support the advancement and continuation of Kentucky artists’ careers and recognize the creative excellence of their work. The fellowship awards are named after retired Kentucky journalist and past Arts Council Board Chairman Al Smith.

The recipients of the Fellowship Awards are: Nancy Bowden, fiction, Whitley City; Dianne Aprile, creative non-fiction, Louisville; Kenneth King, creative non-fiction, Somerset; Thomas Southerland, playwriting, Lexington; David Cazden, poetry, Lexington; and Marianne Worthington, poetry, Williamsburg. Joseph Cox of Louisville was selected for a Fellowship Award in choreography, and Jeremy Beck, also of Louisville, received a Fellowship Award in music composition.

In addition to the Fellowship Awards, 15 artists were selected to receive Professional Assistance Awards of $1,000 each, to encourage continuation of professional careers in the arts. The recipients of the Professional Assistance Awards are: Dionne Griffiths, choreography, Louisville; Bev Olert, fiction, Paris; Paul Prather, fiction, Mount Sterling; Merle Bachman, creative non-fiction, Louisville; Olga-Maria Cruz Smock, creative non-fiction, Louisville; Denise McKinney, playwriting, Berea; Elizabeth Orndorff, playwriting, Danville; Lorraine Nickole Brown, poetry, Louisville; Adam Day, poetry, Louisville; Kathleen Driskell, poetry, Louisville; Tom Hunley, poetry, Bowling Green; Jeffrey Skinner, poetry, Prospect; Harry Pickens, music composition, Louisville; Raleigh Dailey, music composition, Lexington; and Charles Smith, music composition, Bowling Green.

Criteria for the prestigious awards include artistic excellence, professional achievement and the potential of the fellowship award to enhance the artist’s development.

Springfield Commissions Lincoln Sculpture for Judicial Center
The City of Springfield has commissioned Paula B. Slater of Hidden Valley Lake, California to produce a 10-foot tall, full-figure bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln for the new Washington County Judicial Center. The portrait sculpture will be dedicated in Springfield on Lincoln’s 200th birthday, Feb. 12, 2009.

The one-and-a-half-times life size, full-figure bronze sculpture of Lincoln will be shown standing looking towards the old Washington County Courthouse. Just below will be a bronze plaque imprinted with a reproduction of Nancy Hanks and Thomas Lincoln’s Bond of Marriage. Two interlocking rings, representing the rings exchanged by bride and groom, connect the sculpture to the marker. The design for “In Sacred Union” was selected following a national competition. Slater, the principal sculptor, specializes in highly detailed and finely finished realistic portrait sculptures and has won many prestigious public and private commissions. Bourgoyne, the site designer, is a fine art sculptor who works as a 3D artist in an engineering consulting firm. Frostad Atelier, a premiere bronze foundry in Sacramento, Calif., will cast the piece.

Arts Council Seeking Public Input
The Kentucky Arts Council is seeking public input to help create a strategic plan to guide the future of arts in Kentucky. The state agency, which works in partnership with artists, organizations, schools and local communities to provide art opportunities for Kentuckians, will incorporate input in its 2009-2013 strategic plan. Comments will be accepted through an online survey that can be taken on the council’s Web site: www.artscouncil.ky.gov.